Saints ended up strolling home to victory against Stockport on Saturday, but the fact that it took until the penultimate day of January to secure their first league win of the new year may have put paid to their play-off hopes.
Saints 2 - 0 Stockport County
Such an assessment may be harsh. One postponement and three cup interruptions meant this was their only home game of the month, with their other fixtures away to Millwall and Brentford (both drawn) causing it to be an unbeaten one. Six games in one month is a big ask for any side - and a record of four wins and two draws should not be sniffed at. The increasing gap between Saints and the top six perhaps explains why such a cracking run of form has not attracted more acclaim. It took goals from Ricky Lambert and Papa Waigo to see off Stockport yesterday, after a nervy first half in which the pressure of needing a win appeared to stifle Saints' performance. But Saints came through in the end, piling the pressure on a Stockport side who have not won in more than one hundred days.
February is shaping up to be another colossal month, with four league fixtures and two massive cup ties. Many fans will be looking to the derby match against Pompey on the 13th as the biggest of these games, but this may be a mistake. A good performance in the return leg against MK Dons will see Saints to Wembley again, while if they can take ten points from their league games they will stay in the play-off hunt. Defeat against Pompey would be galling for all at SFC; but it should not overshadow the other games this month which will have a massive bearing on how this season is remembered.
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